A new SGA team has been elected to serve for the upcoming school year.
Students elected President William Burnett, Vice President Nevaeh Wallace, Secretary Jermaine Thomas and Treasurer Makayla Horner to serve as the executive team for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Burnett, a music education major who will be entering his junior year, is excited to take the role of student body president.
He is taking over the position after only a year involved with SGA. He now serves as the SGA director of communication.
Burnett chose to run for the role after finding community in SGA, something he largely attributes to the current academic year’s SGA president, Jalen Smith.
“What Jalen did for me, it was very inspiring,” Burnett said.
When he first came to VSU, Burnett felt like he didn’t have anyone in his corner, and he wants to be the inspiration for students that Smith was for him.
Burnett’s goals for his time in the position is to increase SGA’s campus engagement with other students and organizations.
“As president, I’m like the voice for 10,000 students,” Burnett said. “It’s kinda scary. There’s only one me to listen to concerns and make sure everyone’s voice is heard.”
But Burnett plans to do just that.
His favorite part about VSU is the community and how nice the students are, and he hopes to cultivate an even stronger sense of community for all of VSU.
Vice President Wallace, a communication major who will also be entering her junior year, is not new to student government. She has been involved in SGA since middle school.
“I’ve always had a thing for this type of stuff,” Wallace said.
She’s been involved in VSU’s SGA for two years, serving as a senator.
Wallace also found inspiration for running in the current team.
“I see Makaya [Clinton] a lot, and I look up to her,” she said.
As vice president and president of the SGA senate, Wallace will make sure the senate is structured and organized and be a listening ear for SGA senators.
“I just want to make sure that the senate stays in a good place with good leaders,” she said.
Wallace also plans to involve SGA with other organizations.
Secretary Thomas, a political science major, will also start his junior year in the fall.
Finishing his second year in VSU’s SGA, he also is no stranger to student government.
“I was in SGA in high school, and I’ve always wanted to be a voice for students,” Thomas said.
As a self-labeled quiet person, Thomas still wanted to be in leadership and thought that the secretary position was best for him.
“I feel like the role fits my personality,” he said. “I’m still active and getting things done, but I’m more behind the scenes and seeing everything come to life.”
As secretary, Thomas will report to Burnett and Wallace, be the appropriator for all meetings, ensure rules are followed and be the record keeper for SGA.
Thomas’s passion for SGA comes across in the plans he has for his time as secretary. After listening to student concerns, he wants to focus on three things: advising, bus schedules and teacher/classroom accountability.
“Teachers lack luster after COVID,” he said.
He hopes to start a new blaze for students and teachers in the classroom so students get the education they deserve.
Along with his fellow team members, he believes campus organizations are the highlight to VSU.
“Campus organizations really make the campus,” Thomas said.
Thomas also urges students to be a part of SGA, and while it may be seem intimidating, SGA is always open to new voices.
Treasurer Horner, an upcoming junior mathematics major and chemistry minor, has been in SGA since her start at VSU as well.
Horner was a first-year senator, and the welcome and support she received from SGA made her want to continue.
“From day one I have had someone pushing me to be a better person and a better leader and eventually I want to be that person for someone else, I want to make a positive impact for the university,” Horner said.
Horner attributes her run for treasurer to the community she’s gained from SGA.
“I ran for treasurer because I have closely worked with the past few treasurers and feel as if I have gained the experience and knowledge needed to take this position and can take the past treasurers’ hard work and continue to improve this organization as well as its impact on the university,” she said.
As treasurer, Horner hopes to be a resource for all students and help those in need.
“My plan for this position is to increase the amount of allocations approved, by further educating the campus,” she said. “By reaching out to more students, both in person and online, I believe we can help more students in need.”
Her focus is on her fellow students.
“I know how hard it is to be financially stable and receive financial help as a college student, and I want to be able to help students carry out their ideas and improve themselves through their travels and organizations,” Horner said.
Because neither treasurer candidate won 50% of the vote, Horner was thrown into a runoff, but she said it only helped her.
“While I was surprised about the run-off, it made me feel more confident about the campaign because I had more time to meet new people, introduce myself and express my experience and knowledge needed for this position,” she said.
The team was sworn in on April 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Night on Fire awards celebration in the Student Union.
In the announcement email from SGA, the new senate was also named.
The SGA 2023-2024 Senate will consist of De-Andra Lundy, Edmund Wright, Gavin Ponder, Jamesha Springer, Jaylah Lawrence, Jediah Garbutt, Khlanna Gibson, Kortnie Ray, Luisa Garrett, Marcus Skinner, Melissa Gutierrez-Torres, NaJache Page, Re’Shard Dowels, Sabrina Maine, Saul Guzman Jr., Sha’Lera Abercrombie, Taliyah Harper and Victoria Ahmadu.
The new SGA members will work with VSU administration, faculty and staff to represent the student body.
Written by Angel Davis, Copy and News Editor. Photo courtesy of VSU.